Popped Round-up February 2019

Popped Round-up

February 2019

Words: Daniel Burton 

!Editors Pick!

Saltwater Sun – Blood

Following the huge success of their debut single in 2016, Saltwater Sun had a very successful 2018 with singles Hot Mess & The Wire, which both attracted a lot of radio attention, and earned a spot on the BBC Introducing Stage at Reading & Leeds Festival.  Kicking off 2019 in a similar fashion, the Reading quintet return with new single Blood. There are no big builds up or crescendos, but more of a constant upbeat vibe that lends itself well to singer Jennifer’s voice. I’m sure the great sound that this brings will draw in the respect it deserves. With a pulsating bass line throughout that leads the rest of the band, all the elements come together and seem to work in tandem perfectly. Whilst there is a glistening vocal harmony throughout the majority, Jennifer’s instantly recognisable gritty voice adds that extra something special to the song. If her voice wasn’t already good enough on its own, the last chorus hears a high-pitched guitar riff that rockets and makes her voice stand out and shine even more. With a little under 50,000 streams in just over a week, I can see this song racking up the attention in the coming weeks and help kick-start a prosperous year for Saltwater Sun.

Listen to Blood here:

Oddity Road- Why Am I Like This

Kicking off the track with a heavy riff, Oddity Road have started 2019 with an absolute banging tune. Their new single Why Am I Like This has a fairly heavy rock sound but without burning your ears off, and gets the blood pumping and the heart racing.

The 4-piece have created a very catchy chorus, and the drop halfway through with a pull-back in drum beat works perfectly. One very small niggling point is the maybe slightly unnecessary heavy drumming that is present throughout the entire song. At some points in the track, it is slightly reigned in and I think that just the slight change in the beat makes a huge difference, and they could maybe do with having a few more stages where this happens. However, regardless of this, I am a huge fan of this track and think that this is just another stepping stone in their development.

Oddity Road very much in the early stages of their career but they’ve already proved that they have a huge sound and can produce great songs. I very much look forward to seeing this band grow in the future.

Listen to Why Am I Like This here:

ISLAND- All In My Head

What can I say, ISLAND have got me addicted to their dreamy indie sound. A very simple start with just a solo guitar riff, but it is so effective that it somehow drags you in from the first second. The chord progression does sound somewhat familiar, but the band manage to personalise it and make it sound their own. Within the bridge, it is rather restricted but is clear that they are just winding up the string for the huge explosion of sound that follows for the final chorus, and it comes with ISLAND stamped all over it. When it comes to playing this track live, I can imagine it being absolutely huge with a vast spectrum of emotions in the room. It has such a vibe that it is very easy to see some of the crowd moshing, some singing along, whilst some may simply stand and soak up the atmosphere.

With a sliding bass line and the lyrics “was it all in my head?” all that is in my head, ISLAND have created another catchy masterpiece that will please their fans and continue to bring in many more too.

Listen to All In My Head here:


Glass Caves – Common Tongue

From the start, Glass Caves start with a very sly swagger accompanied by an electro indie sound that is simply addictive. With a somewhat modernised New Order feel, they bring popping synth oriented choruses and pulsating drum beats which caress the listener’s ears into listening deeper. The verses are very simple yet highly effective, but when the chorus hits, you can hear the intricacy and attention to detail in the drum beat and synth sound that gives the tune that special edge. Common Tongue has really had me gripped since it came out and has me eager to hear more. This single comes after the release of 2 singles and an EP in 2018, and they have definitely continued to produced quality work and I am very hopeful of further progress from the band this year.

Listen to Common Tongue here:


Tom Speight – My Name

Starting back in 2016, Tom released 6 EPs in a period of less than 2 years which is remarkable by anyone’s standards, but to have 50 million Spotify streams to accompany that is even more impressive.

In his latest single, My Name, he plays an acoustic guitar with beautiful backing sounds from a piano and vocals to perfectly balance with Tom’s voice. The acoustic sound with a light drum beats adds a certain level of layers, but just enough that it doesn’t take away from the central acoustic vibe. Across all of his songs, Tom’s delicate voice harmonises with the soulful playing of the guitar to great effect, and truly creates a sense of peace amongst the noise of everyday life. After touring with Tom Odell across Europe, he will play a string of headline dates across the Europe, UK & Ireland finishing with a huge date at Omera, London on 4th June and will be tour support for pals Clean Cut Kid.

Listen to My Name here:


Callow Youth – Did It Really Matter

Popped first discovered this band when we met one the members serving behind the bar at an unnamed football ground in Manchester that is normally associated with the colour red. Unfortunately, this was the only good thing to come out of the day.

Forming just a little under 2 years ago, and playing their first gig less than a year ago, I already believe this Manchester band are on to something special. With a pure indie sound, bringing soaring riffs, foot tapping drum beats along with catchy hooks from singer Alfie’s voice, they really do have everything they need to grow and become a great band. The overall makeup and elements of the band come together to produce a gripping performance and I am sure this is just the start of bigger things for Callow Youth.

Listen to Did It Really Matter here:

Otherkin – Tombstone

Otherkin have returned with their first new tune since their debut album OK and the live Deutschland KO live album. The new track from the Irish rockers, Tombstone, is clearly another stage in their career, and with it they are testing a new sound. Whilst they are as rocky as ever, this feels like it has a very big 80’s techno influence. Making you feel like you’re heavily under the influence with flashing lights everywhere it adds endless confusion and disorientation to your mind. With a buzzing synth throughout and nerve tingling rock riffs, frontman Luke’s voice has settled into this perfectly and almost seems as if it was made for this sound. Taking a step back and returning to their debut album, there is in fact a stark change in their sound. Talking on their new track, “with the next chapter of the band, we felt the urge to change up our sound and make something a bit more dynamic, something fresh.” With a tag line of “all that remains won’t be the same”, in true Otherkin lyrical style, it is maybe another indication that the next series of music released will be along the same lines as Tombstone.

Listen to Tombstone here:

Alexis Kings – Addict

I am proud to say that Alexis Kings are a band I’ve been keeping tabs on this band since their debut EP Squire in 2016, and I think that this latest track could be the one to finally give them that boost to get to the next level in their career. With songs from Strawberry Blonde to their most popular track Squire, they offer a very chilled vibe from their music and the latest release Addict is no different. There is however a slightly more subdued sound in this track with a very groovy beat, but the Alexis Kings sound is still very much there. Entertaining a thick prominent bass line throughout, it adds a slow hip sway to the very chilled vibe and just brings out that extra something different to keep the fans coming back. Building up to a crescendo of light indie controlled chaos towards the end, it is a great track for you chilled indie vibes playlist.

Listen to Addict here:


Orla Gartland – Why Am I Like This?

No I haven’t copied and pasted and forgotten to change the name, this month we have two artists with the same song title.

Hosting a very stripped back sound, with light guitar playing accompanied by a slow and steady drumbeat in the verses, it offers nothing less than peace and serenity. Hailing from Dublin, Orla’s voice is instantly recognisable, with a sumptuously delicate tone yet a buzz that put the hairs up on the back of your neck. The first chorus has the same drum beat as the verse but with a soft synth feeling behind it, however, the second chorus brings a much bigger sound with louder drums and more prominent guitar. The track makeup also has many layers which all blend together to bring a complex sound yet still a feeling of calm.

This latest release follows on from her previous two singles Between My Teeth and I Go Crazy which have accumulated a remarkable 1 million & 2 million Spotify streams respectively. With a string of support slots with Dodie followed by a run of headline dates, 2019 is certainly looking promising for the Irish singer/songwriter.

Listen to Why Am I Like This? here:











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